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Deep Cervical Flexor Isolated Activation

Deep Cervical Flexor Isolated Activation is an exercise technique used to help strengthen and stimulate the deep muscles of theneck. This exercise focuses on activating and targeting the deep sternocleidomastoid (SCM) and the deep longus colli. Isolated activation of these muscles increases strength and stability in the neck, which in turn can help improve posture and reduce the risk of neck and shoulder pain or injury. Deep Cervical Flexor Isolated Activation

Transcript

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This is Brent coming at you with another
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longus colli, longus capitis, commonly known as our deep cervical
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flexors. These muscles have a propensity to get under active and weak in cervical
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dysfunction as well as play a role in upper body dysfunction. Now we've done a
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couple previous videos where we did stabilization exercises, and then
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stabilization with integration exercises. This exercise is almost a regression
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from those two videos, this is almost pure isolated activation for the deep
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cervical flexors. So I'm going to have my friend Yvette come out, you'll notice
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she's got a little bit of resistive band tape here. What Yvette is going to do is
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she's going to wrap this around the back of her neck because we want to resist
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retraction, and then she's going to push out and hold on to this mirror. So we're just
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going to go ahead and show you that.
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Now let's talk about some of the clever things about this exercise. So as soon as
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she pushed out, I can now cue protraction and depression of her scapula. So now
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we're scapula stabilized, I would say that this part right here is where so
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much deep cervical flexor activation exercise gets totally messed up. This is
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a lot where the compensation happens, so by being able to stabilize her
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shoulder girdle, I just made this exercise a whole lot
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better. Now the second point is i'Il have her holding on to a mirror. So now she's
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got visual feedback on what this should look like, which if you have somebody
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with cervical dysfunction this will be extremely important, because they're
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going to have that tendency to like maybe tilt to one side or maybe rotate a
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little bit as they're trying to pull back, and you want them to be able to
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focus on giving you the best form possible. So now what is the exercise,
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well the exercise is actually fairly simple. All you're going to do is have
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your patient right or client, go ahead and protract, depress as I talked about.
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Make sure their glutes are tight so you got them in good kinetic chain
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checkpoint alignment here, and then have them go into a forward head tilt like
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they're kind of pushing their chin towards the mirror, and then all you're
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going to do is cue a chin tuck and retraction, making sure you pay very
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careful attention to getting as much out of that retraction as you possibly can.
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Chances are if they have cervical dysfunction or upper body dysfunction
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it's not going to be the beginning part of that movement that's hard at all, it's
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going to be those last few degrees that get them back to neutral position, or
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maybe even beyond neutral where you're going to need the most strengthening.
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Let's go ahead and try that again, good and back and of course I would use the
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same acute variables that I use for all my isolated activation exercises, I'd be
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doing 12 to 20 slow repetitions, either a 4-2-2 or a 2-4-2 count, 1-3 sets. I
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have been experimenting with this exercise a little bit, one thing you can
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do is you can kind of move the band so that more of your resistance is
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on the lower cervical spine, mid cervical spine, or upper cervical spine. So let me
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show you guys how that would work, if I thought most of her issue was in the
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lower cervical spine and I really wanted to work on the last few degrees of
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retraction, I might bring this down a little bit lower, giving a little bit
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more tactile stimulation there, and then have her try to tuck and this might be
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harder, might be easier, it might just be different. It's definitely worth
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experimenting with, you can definitely get into a little bit of a mind trip, a
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little bit of a human movement science geek out thinking what segmental
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resistance would do to the cervical spine. Alright and then I can go with the
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upper cervical segments if I thought well that was where most of the problem was
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lying. So let's say she has that atlanto-occipital or C1 C2 dysfunction,
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maybe C2 C3. Good and she's retracting against that. The other thing that does
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is you guys can experiment a little bit with arm position too right, we don't
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want to just be stable in this neutral kind of position at 90 degrees of
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shoulder flexion, but maybe you do want to do a little bit up here and see if
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she can still maintain that good scapular retraction and depression. If
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you want to do it a little lower and see if she can still maintain that shoulder
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girdle stability, how does that feel? And then of course if you guys got
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this right, you've done all your mobility work beforehand you have them go ahead
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and stop the exercise, and you can check their posture again and see if they're
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standing up a little bit straighter. So there you guys go
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isolated activation for the deep cervical flexors, using just a little bit